Korea looking into air defenses after drone discoveryUpdated: 2014-04-04 22:01:22 (KST)
South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin acknowledged Friday that the military lacks the capability to detect small-sized aircraft like the unmanned aerial vehicles that were recently found on South Korean soil.
The drones, confirmed to be made and developed by North Korea, were not capable of loading explosives.
But Kim said that if North Korea were to develop their technology, the regime might be able to load them with explosives or chemical weapons.
The defense minister added that North Korea has hundreds of UAVs in its arsenal, and that they are very difficult to detect because they're so small.
As such, the South Korean military plans to purchase low-altitude radar systems and other military equipment to prevent an infiltration of Korea's air defense zone.
The ministry believes one of the drones, the one found north of Seoul in the city of Paju late last month, malfunctioned and crashed as it was headed back to North Korea.
They added that the aircraft had flown at one point over the presidential office for 20 seconds and a Japanese-made Nikon camera attached to it took around a hundred and 90 pictures.
In a separate development, the ministry says they successfully tested a 500-kilometer ballistic missile on March 23rd.
It is capable of hitting any and all strategic targets in North Korea, including key nuclear and military facilities.
This missile can hold up to one ton of explosives and is expected to be included in South Korea's combat arrangements starting next year.
The South Korean military currently has missiles with a range of 300 kilometers that can hold 500 kilograms of explosives in its arsenal, so this successful test represents an upgrade.
The ministry says the focus now turns to developing a ballistic missile with a range of 800 kilometers that can hold up to a 500 kilogram warhead. This would allow the South Korean military to hit any target in North Korea from anywhere in the country.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.
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